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Did you know this?
• The most popular name for a dog is Max.
• An estimated 1 million dogs in the United States have been named the primary beneficiary in their owner's will.
• Ever wonder why a dog would go in circles before laying down? Pet dogs will circle anywhere indoors, even in their own beds. It's not reasoned behavior, but is instinctive to all canines, domesticated and wild. Dogs in the wild would encircle where they laid-down to be sure that there were no snakes or other enemies and also, it was part of the ritual of make a good resting place (tamping down the ground before they laid down.)
Dogs would also circle before laying down to find what they think is the most comfortable position. Most dogs don't like to lay on a flat surface, that is why they sometimes paw at the same area before laying. A common theory is that in the wild dogs will choose to sleep with their nose blowing into the prevailing wind. That being said, they circle to figure out which way that is. One contradiction to this is a sled dog which will often pad out a circle in the snow and sleep with the wind blowing from back to front so as to stay warm. Dogs circle to mark their scent so they can find that place again.
• Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not sweat by salivating. They sweat through the pads of their feet.
• Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible.
• The dachshund is one of the oldest dog breeds in history (dating back to ancient Egypt.) The name comes from one of its earliest uses - hunting badgers. In German, Dachs means "badger," Hund is "hound."
• Every year, $1.8 billion is spent on pet food. This is four times the amount spent on baby food.
• French poodles did not originate in France.
• Inbreeding causes 3 out of every 10 Dalmatian dogs to suffer from hearing disability.
• It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.
• Scientists have discovered that dogs can smell the presence of cancer in humans
• Seventy percent of people sign their pet's name on greeting cards and 58 percent include their pets in family and holiday portraits.
• 65 percent of pet owners say they have more photos of their pet than of their spouse or significant other.
• The common belief that dogs are color blind is false. Dogs can see color, but it is not as vivid a color scheme as we see. They distinguish between blue, yellow, and gray, but probably do not see red and green. This is much like our vision at twilight.
• Most pet owners (96 percent) say their pet makes them smile more than once a day.
• The name of the dog from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" is Max.
• Chihuahuas are named for the region of Mexico where they were first discovered in the mid-19th century.
• A dog's whiskers are touch-sensitive hairs , they are found on the muzzle, above the eyes and below the jaws, and can actually sense tiny changes in airflow.
• 33 percent of dog owners admit that they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on an answering machine while away.
• Every known dog except the chow has a pink tongue - the chow's tongue is jet black.
• The English Romantic poet Lord Byron was so devastated upon the death of his beloved Newfoundland, whose name was Boatswain, that he had inscribed upon the dog's gravestone the following: "Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices.

Fxi launches cotton candy developer site, takes pre-orders

TRONDHEIM, Norway and BARCELONA, Spain -26 Feb. 2012 @ Showstoppers MWC – FXI Technologies, Inc. today introduced the launch of, a community website and technical forum where Cotton Candy development units are immediately available for pre-order.

“The world is anxiously awaiting Cotton Candy’s release,” said Borgar Ljosland, CEO and founder of FXI. “We’ve had interest in the any screen computer for everything from portable set top box gaming and entertainment to mobile any screen computing, in addition to a host of specialized medical, automotive and other applications. The size, raw horsepower and combined HDMI, USB and MicroUSB connectivity bring unprecedented flexibility to the portable market. ”

On display at this week’s Mobile World Congress tradeshow in the Innovation Norway Booth (Hall 2.0-2A67), Cotton Candy is the world’s first any screen cloud computer, weighing only 21 grams. It’s unique architecture will allow the device to serve as an ideal companion to smartphones, tablets, notebook PCs and Macs as well as will add smart capabilities to existing displays, set top boxes and game consoles.

Specifications include an ARM® Cortex™-A9 (1GHz) CPU from Samsung, an ARM Mali™-400 MP (Quad-core, 1.2GHz) GPU, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, HDMI output and the Android operating system. It decodes MPEG-4, H.264 and other video formats and display HD graphics on any HDMI equipped screen. Operating systems supported to date include Android Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich as well as Ubuntu. On-screen content can be controlled a wide variety of ways – wirelessly using smartphones with an app, Bluetooth peripherals like mice and RF remote controls; or by leveraging a notebook’s integrated keyboard and touchpad.


Asghar Farhadi, of Iran, accepts the Oscar for best foreign language film

84th Academy Awards Show

Asghar Farhadi, of Iran, accepts the Oscar for best foreign language film for A Separation from Sandra Bullock during the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) AP


New York Man 'Grows' Six Inches Through Surgery

New York Man 'Grows' Six Inches Through Surgery

PHOTO: A New York man who goes by the name Apotheosis underwent two costly surgeries to "grow" six inches.

At five foot, six inches, Apotheosis was shorter than the average American male and very unhappy about it.
So he did something other men who feel short might consider unthinkable: he opted for costly, painful surgeries to make himself "grow" a total of six inches.
"I realized that the world looked at me a certain way that I didn't look at myself in that certain way," said the 37-year-old New Yorker, who goes by the pseudonym "Apotheosis" in online forums and asked that "20/20" not use his real name. "I wanted the way I felt about myself and the way the world felt about me to be similar."
Apotheosis is one of a "growing" number of men pursuing limb-lengthening procedures for cosmetic reasons.
Dr. Dror Paley, a renowned orthopaedic surgeon at the Paley Institute at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., performed 650 leg-lengthening surgeries last year.
Most of Paley's patients have severe deformities or dwarfism, but he also sees cosmetic patients.
"The majority who come for cosmetic limb lengthening have what we call, height dysphoria. They're unhappy with their height," said Paley, adding that therapy has little effect on changing a patient's views. "It's one of the few psychologic-psychiatric disorders that you can actually cure with the knife."

That is precisely the reason why Akash Shukla, 25, decided to undergo the procedure. At age 18, the New Jersey man was devastated to find out that his final height would be 4'11 ½.
"I felt like my short stature was kind of causing a void inside me- an emptiness in my heart, if you will," he said.
And not everyone was encouraging.
"There are people that have said, 'just accept what God gave you. But, in some way, shape or form everybody is trying to alter what god gave them. If God gave kids crooked teeth, they get braces," said Shukla, who is now almost 5'2" thanks to the surgery.
But limb lengthening is certainly not like straightening teeth.
Only a few doctors, including Paley, perform the procedure in the United States.
Surgeons break the leg bone in two and implant a state-of-the-art telescopic rod into the middle of the broken bones which then pulls the bone apart very slowly, about one millimeter a day.
New bone grows around it and tissues like the muscle, the nerves, the arteries, and the skin, regenerate as well.
At about $85,000, the procedure is expensive and the process lengthy. It takes at least three months to complete it and it requires demanding and excruciating physical therapy.
Apotheosis is still in recovery and he does not want to go public even though this is his second surgery. "I am still lengthening right now and there could be further complications and I don't want to talk about it successfully until it's been successful."
But he is candid about his leg lengthening journey on, an online forum for people interested in the procedure.
"I am not telling anyone they should do this surgery, but I am laying out my experiences and the risks that I have taken and the successes that I have had and let people make their own decision," he said.

Scientists Develop Affordable Solar Panels That Work In The Dark


Eating Nothing but Pizza for 31 Years

Some people don’t like to eat their veggies, but this is ridiculous.
Claire Simmons of London admits that she has eaten nothing but cheese pizza every day for 31 years.
Photo: The Sun
While that may sound like heaven to junk food lovers, doctors warn that her unusual diet could lead to serious health problems down the road.
However, the 33 year-old states that any other type of food is unpalatable and literally makes her shake.
Her solution for long-term health?
“I keep myself healthy with exercise and drink a lot of water”.

that what i call it talent


Some Things Scientists Wrack Their Brains Over (and still can’t come up with conclusive explanation)

Medical practitioners have been aware of the placebo effect for decades now.
Some administer it. Still some attempt to explain it as a biochemical effect.
However, no one knows exactly what it is and how it comes about.
Cosmologists wrack their brains over an explanation to the horizon problem.
Some come up with this explanation of inflation: “You can solve the horizon problem by having the universe expand ultra-fast for a time, just after the big bang, blowing up by a factor of 1050 in 10-33 seconds. Inflation would be an explanation if it occurred.”
Still, no one knows what could have made that happen. Fact is ‘nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, so there is no way heat radiation could have travelled between the two horizons to even out the hot and cold spots created in the big bang and leave the thermal equilibrium we see now.’
Homeopathy preparations are made by dissolving solutions such as histamine, and then diluting this “mother tincture” in water again and again.’ No matter how further diluted the solution is, ‘it is still imbued with the properties of the remedy.’
There is more stuff out there in the universe than we can see.
However, nobody could explain what dark matter is. ‘Astronomical observations suggest that dark matter must make up about 90 per cent of the mass in the universe, yet we are astonishingly ignorant what that 90 per cent is.’
Tetraneutrons are four neutrons bound together in a way that defies the laws of physics.
Based on standard model of particle physics, tetraneutrons simply can’t exist.
There are obvious reasons to doubt their existence. ‘If you tweak the laws of physics to allow four neutrons to bind together, all kinds of chaos ensues.
It would mean that the mix of elements formed after the big bang was inconsistent with what we now observe and, even worse, the elements formed would have quickly become far too heavy for the cosmos to cope.’
Via NewScientist


David Choe Just Made $200 Million For Painting Facebook Office with Erotic Art in 2005

If then-President of Facebook Sean Parker had come to you in 2005, asked you to paint his new offices with a bunch of cocks, and then offered to pay you in either a few thousand dollars in cold hard cash or just the equivalent in company stock, you would probably have gone for the cash, right? Particularly if the company seemed on the whole sort of "pointless" to you, as it did to so many of us around then even though we were already becoming addicted to it? Fortunately for the painter, wild child graffiti artist David Choe, he picked the stock, which the New York Times points out is now about to be worth $200 million:
In 2005, Mr. Choe was invited to paint murals on the walls of Facebook's first offices in Palo Alto, Calif., by Sean Parker, then Facebook's president. As pay, Mr. Parker offered Mr. Choe a choice between cash in the "thousands of dollars," according to several people who know Mr. Choe, or stock then worth about the same.
Mr. Choe, who has said that at the time that he thought the idea of Facebook was "ridiculous and pointless," nevertheless chose the stock.
Many "advisers" to the company at that time, which is how Mr. Choe would have been classified, would have received about 0.1 to 0.25 percent of the company, according to a former Facebook employee. That may sound like a paltry amount, but a stake that size is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, based on a market value of $100 billion. Mr. Choe's payment is valued at roughly $200 million, according to a number of people who know Mr. Choe and Facebook executives.

A star in the making Michael Jackson's daughter, Paris Jackson


Outrageous American Roadside Attractions

Wall Drug, South Dakota ( Drug, South Dakota (

America’s top roadside attractions are highway accidents of a good kind. They’re small, conventional businesses that grew, thanks to desperation-driven innovation and a little luck, into legendary, multi-generational family concerns that draw mind-boggling traffic and profits that their founders little imagined.

More surprising still is that these products of the automobile’s golden age continue to thrive in a time of air travel and triple-digit gas prices. We asked the owners of some of the longest-enduring attractions what allows them to survive.

Read on for some great American roadside attractions:

Wall Drug
Wall, South Dakota

In the depths of the Depression, Ted Hustead’s grandmother drew up signs offering travelers free ice water in order to draw business to her husband’s struggling pharmacy in a tiny town near a nascent Mount Rushmore. Today, Wall’s billboards stretch as far as Minnesota and the store, restaurant and gift shop see as many as 15,000 visitors on a summer day. “We’re on our second- and third-generation customer,” says Hustead, grandson of the founders. “Grandparents want to share an experience that they had when they were a kid.”

That experience has evolved “to entertain, educate and do it with world-class aesthetics,” says Hustead. Famous for its ubiquitous bumper stickers, Wall displays a priceless collection of Western art. In addition to its Yosemite and Rushmore souvenir sales, the Husteads do a half-million dollar trade in cowboy boots alone.

South of the BorderSouth of the Border, South Carolina ( of the Border, South Carolina (
Dillon, South Carolina
The border in question is with Robeson County, N.C., less than a mile up Interstate 95, where alcohol was banned when Al Schafer opened his beer stand in 1949. It attracted not only Schafer’s thirsty neighbors, but high-end “Cadillac customers” bound for Florida. When a souvenir salesman traded his samples for beer one day, “they sold as fast as my granddad put them out,” says Ryan Schafer, who owns the complex today with his father.

The Cadillac customers fly now, but thousands of motorists are lured by 175 billboards that begin in Virginia, to what has become a small town, with a motel, gift shop and restaurant. The first sign that they’ve made it? A vision of Pedro, a 100-foot statue of the mascot.

Roadside America Miniature VillageRoadside America Miniature Village, Pennsylvania ( America Miniature Village, Pennsylvania (
Shartlesville, Pennsylvania

Beginning in 1903, Laurence Gieringer built more than 300 miniature structures, which he displayed around his hometown of Reading before moving to Shartlesville in 1941. Packed with homes, businesses, and more than 10,000 handmade trees, Roadside America is actually eight villages set in different time periods.

Nostalgia is part of every attraction’s formula, but Roadside America relies on it almost exclusively. The display has not changed since Gieringer died in 1963. Says granddaughter Dolores Heinsohn, the current owner: “I have people thanking me for not changing. Those are the people who mean the most to me.”

The ThingThe Thing, Arizona (The Thing)The Thing, Arizona (The Thing)
Dragoon, Arizona

Settling near Interstate 10 after years of touring as a carnival sideshow, the Prince family opened "The Thing!" Museum in 1951 and quickly leased the attraction to the Bowlins, who owned a string of Western-themed travel centers. What is The Thing? Even director of operations Kit Johnson replies, “Don’t know,” but we can reveal that after 50 billboards spanning more than 300 miles, the “Mystery of the Desert” is somewhat anti-climactic. But surrounded by eerie dioramas and Native American trinkets, The Thing still draws 50,000 visitors a year, testifying to the power of the billboard build-up.

Space Farms Zoo and MuseumSpace Farms Zoo and Museum, New Jersey ( Farms Zoo and Museum, New Jersey (
Sussex, New Jersey

Parker Space calls his family’s 84-year-old zoo, farm museum and restaurant “a lifestyle, not a job.” That lifestyle includes farming 180 acres to supplement feed for the hoof stock, removing road kill from local byways (which is fed to the zoo’s big cats) and tending to a menagerie of more than 500 animals, including lions, tigers and seven species of bears.

Space has a dedicated employee handling regulatory paperwork, a costly reality for every small business that in Space’s industry at least, keeps other costs down. “If you could put a lion on eBay, he’d go for $100,000,” says Space. “But buyers are limited to places where it’s legal to keep him.”


The Indian Rural Olympics

You think all the “extreme” sports you see on the X-Games are a new idea?
Hardly; India’s most adventurous athletes have been putting their bodies to the test at the Rural Olympics for 76 years.
How do you train for that?
Held near Ludhiana in the northern part of the country, the games feature marquee events such as Getting Run Over by a Tractor, Holding a Plow with your Teeth, and Hockey(?). Is this where the guys from Jackass get some of their ideas?
They all got plowed at the afterparty.


World’s Largest Glass of Wine !

There’s a good chance you may have imbibed in a little champagne for Valentine’s Day, and if so, you might have felt a little fuzzy next morning.
But a few regular glasses of bubbly are nothing compared to the world’s largest flute of wine, created in the Ukraine.
Would drinking this with a straw be tacky?
It took glassmakers three days to create the giant flute out of 50lbs of glass.
The record was set when it when it was filled with nearly 7 gallons of champagne, the equivalent of 75 bottles!
After the record was recognized by Guinness we’re betting there was quite a celebration.
Via Guinness.

Sailing on an Extraterrestrial Sea


Sailing on an Extraterrestrial Sea by Launchspace Stafffor Launchspace Bethesda MD (SPX)

Conceptual design of TiME as it floats on an ocean of liquid methane-ethane.

Many of us have sailed the Earth's lakes, bays and rivers. But, imagine sailing on an extraterrestrial sea of liquid methane-ethane a billion miles from Earth. This is the kind of idea that makes science fiction so interesting. Yet, this may not be fiction at all.
Under its Discovery Program NASA is currently conducting a contest among three science teams. One team will be selected for a 2016 mission.
Possible choices are
(1) investigation of the interior of Mars for the first time,
(2) measurement of the environmental factors on one of Titan's oceans and
(3) study the surface of a comet's nucleus in great detail.
Well. We have been to Mars many times and we have studied comets at length in recent years. But, we have never placed an Earth-made spacecraft on a sea outside the earth's environment, let alone on a moon of Saturn. Wow!
TiME, the Titan Mare Explorer, is designed to do just that. If selected by NASA, a U.S. science and mission team will develop a small interplanetary spacecraft that can travel from Earth to Saturn.
As it approaches this outer planet, about a billion miles from earth, TiME will be targeted to make a direct entry into Titan's atmosphere. After initial entry a series of parachutes will lower the spacecraft to a slow splashdown on Ligeia Mare (78 degrees N, 250 degrees W), one of the largest known lakes of Titan with a surface area of about 100,000 km".
Liftoff from Earth would take place in 2016 and TiME would splashdown in 2023. Science objectives on Titan include determining the chemistry and depth of the sea, how the local meteorology varies on diurnal timescales and properties of the atmosphere above the sea.
Titan's thick atmosphere and the sun's distance rule out the use of solar panels. Thus, TiME would be the test flight for the new Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG).
TiME will communicate directly with Earth until 2026, when Earth finally sinks below the horizon as seen from Ligeia. Earthrise will occur again in 2035.
And who said: Nothing exciting is happening at NASA?
Related Links Launchspace Explore The Ring World of Saturn and her moonsJupiter and its MoonsThe million outer planets of a star called SolNews Flash at Mercury

Study: Computers can 'evolve' for defense

Study: Computers can 'evolve' for defense Winston-Salem, N.C. (UPI)

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
U.S. researchers say findings from genetics research are inspiring them in their search for ways to combat increasing number of global cyberattacks.
Scientists at Wake Forest University say they've used a genetically inspired algorithm to fight continual evolution of viruses, worms and malware with computer evolution, developing the first-ever automated computer configurations that adjust as quickly as the threats.
The algorithm proactively discovers more secure computer configurations by leveraging the genetic concept of "survival of the fittest" in a computer network, a Wake Forest release said Tuesday.
"Typically, administrators configure hundreds and sometimes thousands of machines the same way, meaning a virus that infects one could affect any computer on the same network," researcher Michael Crouse said.
"If successful, automating the ability to ward off attacks could play a crucial role in protecting highly sensitive data within large organizations."
Cyberattacks usually take place in two phases, the researchers said. In the reconnaissance phase, a virus simply observes, identifies possible defense mechanisms and looks for the best way in.
If nothing has changed since the reconnaissance phase upon the virus's return, it strikes, but even the slightest change in environment -- accomplished automatically by the algorithm -- can make a huge difference in deterring potential attackers, they said.
"If we can automatically change the landscape by adding the technological equivalent of security cameras or additional lighting, the resulting uncertainty will lower the risk of attack," researcher Errin Fulp said.
Related Links Cyberwar - Internet Security News - Systems and Policy Issues


Beef Jerky Underwear !

There’s no better gift to present to your significant other than edible undies.
However, if you both want something a little more, ahem… “satisfying” than typical edible lingerie, consider beef jerky.
Yes, the laces are made from Slim Jims.
By following just a few easy steps over at Instructables you can make your own pair. Just be sure to stay out of the hot tub…



RIP - Whitney Houston Dead at 48 - We will always love you

Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You - Lyrics

Whitney Houston, superstar of records, films, dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.
Houston's publicist, Kristen Foster, said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unknown.
News of Houston's death came on the eve of music's biggest night — the Grammy Awards. It's a showcase where she once reigned, and her death was sure to cast a heavy pall on Sunday's ceremony. Houston's longtime mentor Clive Davis was to hold his annual concert and dinner Saturday; it was unclear if it was going to go forward.
At her peak, Houston the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world's best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like "The Bodyguard" and "Waiting to Exhale."
She had the perfect voice and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.
She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.
But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.
"The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy," Houston told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.
It was a tragic fall for a superstar who was one of the top-selling artists in pop music history, with more than 55 million records sold in the United States alone.
She seemed to be born into greatness. She was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin.
Houston first started singing in the church as a child. In her teens, she sang backup for Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and others, in addition to modeling. It was around that time when music mogul Clive Davis first heard Houston perform.
"The time that I first saw her singing in her mother's act in a club ... it was such a stunning impact," Davis told "Good Morning America."
"To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine," he added.
Before long, the rest of the country would feel it, too. Houston made her album debut in 1985 with "Whitney Houston," which sold millions and spawned hit after hit. "Saving All My Love for You" brought her her first Grammy, for best female pop vocal. "How Will I Know," ''You Give Good Love" and "The Greatest Love of All" also became hit singles.
Another multiplatinum album, "Whitney," came out in 1987 and included hits like "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."
The New York Times wrote that Houston "possesses one of her generation's most powerful gospel-trained voices, but she eschews many of the churchier mannerisms of her forerunners. She uses ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, and instead of projecting an earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance and strength, building pop ballads to majestic, sustained peaks of intensity."
Her decision not to follow the more soulful inflections of singers like Franklin drew criticism by some who saw her as playing down her black roots to go pop and reach white audiences. The criticism would become a constant refrain through much of her career. She was even booed during the "Soul Train Awards" in 1989.
"Sometimes it gets down to that, you know?" she told Katie Couric in 1996. "You're not black enough for them. I don't know. You're not R&B enough. You're very pop. The white audience has taken you away from them."
Some saw her 1992 marriage to former New Edition member and soul crooner Bobby Brown as an attempt to refute those critics. It seemed to be an odd union; she was seen as pop's pure princess while he had a bad-boy image, and already had children of his own. (The couple had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, in 1993.) Over the years, he would be arrested several times, on charges ranging from DUI to failure to pay child support.
But Houston said their true personalities were not as far apart as people may have believed.
"When you love, you love. I mean, do you stop loving somebody because you have different images? You know, Bobby and I basically come from the same place," she told Rolling Stone in 1993. "You see somebody, and you deal with their image, that's their image. It's part of them, it's not the whole picture. I am not always in a sequined gown. I am nobody's angel. I can get down and dirty. I can get raunchy."
It would take several years, however, for the public to see that side of Houston. Her moving 1991 rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl, amid the first Gulf War, set a new standard and once again reaffirmed her as America's sweetheart.
In 1992, she became a star in the acting world with "The Bodyguard." Despite mixed reviews, the story of a singer (Houston) guarded by a former Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) was an international success.
It also gave her perhaps her most memorable hit: a searing, stunning rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," which sat atop the charts for weeks. It was Grammy's record of the year and best female pop vocal, and the "Bodyguard" soundtrack was named album of the year.
She returned to the big screen in 1995-96 with "Waiting to Exhale" and "The Preacher's Wife." Both spawned soundtrack albums, and another hit studio album, "My Love Is Your Love," in 1998, brought her a Grammy for best female R&B vocal for the cut "It's Not Right But It's Okay."
But during these career and personal highs, Houston was using drugs. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2010, she said by the time "The Preacher's Wife" was released, "(doing drugs) was an everyday thing. ... I would do my work, but after I did my work, for a whole year or two, it was every day. ... I wasn't happy by that point in time. I was losing myself."
In the interview, Houston blamed her rocky marriage to Brown, which included a charge of domestic abuse against Brown in 1993. They divorced in 2007.
Houston would go to rehab twice before she would declare herself drug-free to Winfrey in 2010. But in the interim, there were missed concert dates, a stop at an airport due to drugs, and public meltdowns.
She was so startlingly thin during a 2001 Michael Jackson tribute concert that rumors spread she had died the next day. Her crude behavior and jittery appearance on Brown's reality show, "Being Bobby Brown," was an example of her sad decline. Her Sawyer interview, where she declared "crack is whack," was often parodied. She dropped out of the spotlight for a few years.
Houston staged what seemed to be a successful comeback with the 2009 album "I Look To You." The album debuted on the top of the charts, and would eventually go platinum.
Things soon fell apart. A concert to promote the album on "Good Morning America" went awry as Houston's voice sounded ragged and off-key. She blamed an interview with Winfrey for straining her voice.
A world tour launched overseas, however, only confirmed suspicions that Houston had lost her treasured gift, as she failed to hit notes and left many fans unimpressed; some walked out. Canceled concert dates raised speculation that she may have been abusing drugs, but she denied those claims and said she was in great shape, blaming illness for cancellations.